Trump Lights Up Mueller Again After Special Counsel Accuses Manafort of Lying

And it signals that Mueller's team may be prepared to reveal the depths of what they have learned.

The morning after Robert Mueller's prosecutors accused the president's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, of lying and breaking his cooperation agreement with the special counsel, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to criticize the probe as a "Phony Witch Hunt" that's doing "TREMENDOUS damage to our Criminal Justice System". While not listing the specifics, the filing said it was on "a variety of matters".

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman of Donald Trump, violated his plea agreement by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the special counsel Robert Mueller's office "on a variety of subject matters", according to a court filing.

"The government will file a detailed sentencing submission to the Probation Department and the Court in advance of sentencing that sets forth the nature of the defendant's crimes and lies, including those after signing the plea agreement herein", they added.

The deal may be off, but only as it applies to sentencing.

But with prosecutors saying he breached the agreement, Manafort now faces serious repercussions such as the possibility of prosecution on additional charges, including the 10 felony counts dropped when he made the deal.

For more than a year now, Manafort has been at the heart of several unresolved threads of the Mueller investigation.

Prosecutors did not provide details of the alleged lies but said they would do so before sentencing.

Giuliani, who last week called for an end to the Russian Federation probe, denied he was making a case for a pardon of Manafort."This has nothing to do with a pardon", he said. Manafort's attorneys denied the allegations.

And that's the headache. He's the only person in the campaign (however briefly) with both substantial connections to Moscow and a close enough link to Trump to matter.

The surprise development comes at a critical time for Mueller, who is expected to finalize a report in the coming months on the findings of his 18-month probe into Russia's election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

That led to the plea deal itself.

The prosecutors were blunt in characterizing Manafort's misconduct. Ellis let the case go forward, but Mueller's motives were plain. But the problem is "that he's making himself a more hard witness to use as he continues to lie", Cramer said. The special counsel has done a lot of work for nothing - or at best, nothing the DoJ couldn't have accomplished on its own regarding Manafort and his ex-partner Rick Gates.

Absent a presidential pardon, Manafort, 69, could end up spending the rest of his life in prison, Reuters reported.